Jul 16, 2014

Microsoft Commits to Wind Farm in Illinois

Wind
Admin
2 min
On the heels of Apple’s purchase of a third solar farm in North Carolina, Microsoft announced its “largest wind project to date” on...

On the heels of Apple’s purchase of a third solar farm in North Carolina, Microsoft announced its “largest wind project to date” on Tuesday.

Microsoft committed to a 20 year power purchasing agreement with EDF Renewable Energy to buy power from its new Illinois wind farm. The company signed a similar agreement last November to utilize energy from the Keechi Wind Project in Texas.

This new wind farm, called the Pilot Hill Project, reportedly will meet the power needs of up to 70,000 homes in Illinois. Microsoft will purchase 675,000 MWh of renewable energy from the project. This project, according to Microsoft, is 60 percent larger than the Keechi farm.

The Pilot Hill Project is located roughly 60 miles outside of Chicago.

In a blog post, Microsoft’s Robert Bernard expressed his excitement for the project saying, “This project builds on our commitment to renewable energy and our strategic objective to transform the energy supply chain toward radically greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact.”

Because the project is new, it is considered “additional” energy for Illinois. Bernard explains in his blog post.

“By purchasing wind, we will reduce the overall amount of emissions associated with operating Microsoft facilities and hopefully spur additional investment in renewable energy,” Bernard wrote. “Because the Chicago datacenter draws power from the Illinois power grid, projects like Pilot Hill help provide a non-polluting source of energy that displaces greenhouse gas emissions from conventional power.”

Microsoft has other renewable energy projects in Texas and Washington.  

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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